In the last two weeks, I have watched “The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer” four times, and I must say: it is DEFINITELY one of my favorites. This hilariously witty film, often referred to as BBS between my friends and myself, stars the gorgeous Myrna Loy, handsome Cary Grant, and not-so-child-star Shirley Temple. Sidney Sheldon created such a wonderful screenplay for the movie that he won an award. This movie is a stupendous choice and comes with lots of guaranteed laughs. This film is truly wonderful; the plot is never slow, it brings out Myrna and Cary’s strengths and definitely makes you question Shirley’s fall from the top.
BBS opens with a welcoming view of a beautiful house and landscaping, fit for any family. The scene quickly cuts to the household’s help, Bessie, who is in the midst of preparing breakfast. As she goes to wake up the younger of the household, Susan Turner (Temple), we catch a glimpse of a gorgeous room with a bed to die for! Cue weird look from Susan that says, “Hey! I’m Shirley Temple! Aren’t I gorgeous?” “Just five more minutes, Bessie.” Susan is feeling a bit sklunklish but hastens to wake up when threatened with the awakening of the judge. The movie is very sly in revealing that Judge Turner is in fact a lady: Margaret Turner (Loy) to be exact. And so the morning starts. After receiving three dollars from Margaret to pay off a bet debt, Susan heads off to school “The call of the wild! I’ve gotta go!” to listen to a speech. Little does she know how much this speech will impact her life! Next, after a few jabs about marriage from Uncle Matt (Ray Collins), we find Margaret in a court setting, listening to a nightclub brawl case. The man/artist to be blamed, Richard Nugent (Grant), arrives late but is cleared of all charges. We meet up with Nugent again in a few minutes, giving the speech at Susan’s high school. Being very good looking, all of the girls are intently interested in what Mr. Nugent has to say, even Susan (though she takes it a bit farther, despite her boyfriend, Jerry White’s (Johnny Sands) wishes.) Susan is convinced that “Dickey” wants her to pose for him, and sneaks out later that night, causing a frantic search for her and Richard’s arrest.
"Dicky wants me to pose for him."
Uncle Matt believes that taking Richard, who is now Susan’s love interest, away from Susan will only end in devastation, so it is decided that Dickey will date Susan until her infatuation with him diminishes, instead of doing time. This plan does not go accordingly, however, and Susan falls even more madly in love with Richard. Much to Susan’s outrage, someone else falls in love with Richard—and this time, he falls in love back. I’ll leave you to find out who this someone is and what becomes of Susan and Dickey; but don’t worry, it’s a happy ending!
This is definitely my favorite Shirley Temple film, and is tied for number one (along with the first three Thin Man’s) favorite for Myrna Loy. This was also my first Cary Grant film, and it was most certainly worth it! “The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer” sure made me wonder how Shirley Temple went from amazing movie star to public servant. Not once have I regretted watching this movie! (As you can tell, considering the number of times I’ve watched it!)
“The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer” most certainly deserves a spot on the classics list for its originality and use of talent. Bravo Shirley, bravo Myrna, and bravo Cary!